Communal Festivities in France : XIXth and XXth Centuries

XIXth century France was largely rural and there were noticeable differences between urban and rural festive customs. Christmas festivities had a religious character: Midnight Mass was a powerful moment in the liturgical calendar. Popular merry-making, which focused on Nativity plays and worship at the family crèche , developed with distinct regional characteristics. Christmas dinner in the country had not yet taken on the form of the "réveillon" or Christmas Eve party.
Today, religious elements have given way to a family celebration with adults and children gathering around the tree for the traditional exchange of presents.
Canadian Heritage Information Network
Mission de la recherche et de la technologie, Direction des Musées de France, Musée de la civilisation, Provincial Museum of Alberta, Musée national des arts et traditions populaires, Département de l'organisation des systèmes d'information,

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